Robert Kirkman’s comics imprint Skybound debuted Clone from writer-creator David Schulner late last year, and now the comic book series has landed a deal at Universal Television for series development. The news came during Image Comics’ …
EXCLUSIVE: Multi-platform geek content creator Nerdist Industries is diving into the distribution business with Tribeca Film. The companies have partnered to co-release SXSW winner Zero Charisma, the Dungeons & Dragons-inspired indie dramedy about an RPG Game Master (Sam Eidson) whose grasp on his life and his weekly gaming group starts to slip when a “neo-nerd” (Garrett Graham) starts taking over the game. Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews made their directorial debut with the film which also stars Brock England and is written by Matthews.
Nerdist, the genre and pop culture specialist behind Nerdist.com, the Chris Hardwick-hosted Nerdist Podcast, and its own eponymous YouTube channel and BBC America show, made the announcement today at Comic-Con. The Shark Films and Magic Stone production will debut October 8 on VOD, iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, VUDU, Playstation, and Google Play followed by an October 11 theatrical run.
BREAKING… UPDATE: Official Press Release Below… The Superman logo was just superimposed with the Batman logo on the screen at the close of the much anticipated Warner Bros-Legendary Pictures panel inside the San Diego Convention Center at Comic-Con. This momentous DC Entertainment development from Warner Bros was not on the schedule, according to Deadline contributor Ross Lincoln covering the event. Instead, Zack Snyder came out on stage and announced, “It’s official that we are going to make another Superman movie. I’ve pored through the DC universe for a way to tell this thing.” With that, Harry Lennix who plays General Swanwick in Man Of Steel began quoting from Frank Miller’s 1986 The Dark Knight Returns and Miller’s follow-up Batman: Year One graphic novel series where an older Batman tricks Superman with Kryptonite and beats up the Man of Steel — then the scene ends with Batman faking his own death, a fact Superman becomes aware of at the funeral and keeps the secret: ”In all the years to come, in all the most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.” Snyder said the filmmakers won’t be using that source but it will help them in the story they’re telling. Set for release in 2015, this sequel is to be directed by Snyder and written by David S. Goyer featuring two of WB/DC’s most iconic superheroes and is certain to compete with Marvel. Christian Bale has said he does not wish to reprise his Bruce Wayne aka Batman role so the studio will be searching for a new Batman to pair with Henry Cavill. Snyder later said, “I’m so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can’t wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest superheroes in the world.” Here is the Warner Bros press release announcing that the next DC superhero movie is in pre-production uniting Superman and Batman “in one explosive new film. Man Of Steel is still in theaters has grossed $625+M worldwide while Christopher Nolan’s rebooted Batman trilogy has amassed $4 billion globally:
BURBANK, CA, July 20, 2013 – On the heels of the worldwide success of “Man of Steel,” director Zack Snyderis bringing together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time—Batman and Superman—for the first time on the big screen. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution,Warner Bros. Pictures.
The current hit, “Man of Steel,” has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing. Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcomingfilm brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. The new Batman has yet to be cast.
Silverman stated, “Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he’s a fan first and he utterly gets this genre. We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way.” Kroll added, “We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie. The success of ‘Man of Steel’ is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters. We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us.”
Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, noted,“Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere. All of us at DCEntertainment could not be more excited for Zack’s continuing vision for the DC Universe.”
A&E’s Bates Motel gang was still riding high on star Vera Farmiga‘s Best Actress Emmy nomination Saturday morning at Comic-Con, where Farmiga explained her approach to playing the mother of Hitchcock’s most famous psycho. “I Googled ‘parents of psychopaths,” she said. “That’s where my compassion for the character comes from. She’s incredibly flawed, she comes with an incredibly warped history and a lot of pain that she’s damming up. But in her defense, she’s the mother of a child with mental issues. There’s no way that a parent can say my child has a mental illness without their spirit imploding. So I always approach Norma with a great sense of compassion and reverence.”
The drama series’ panel opened with a pre-filmed bit of fun with a gag video featuring Freddie Highmore as himself visiting the Bates Motel writers room; there he finds that all screen time and ads are devoted to Farmiga and takes over the Universal Studios Psycho tram stop as the Norman Bates persona seeps into his identity. Highmore joined Farmiga, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke, Max Thierot and EPs Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin to talk up the modern-day Psycho prequel/reimagining. The show returns for its sophomore season next year, when Cuse teased romances on the horizon for Norma and Norman. “And not with each other, OK?” joked Cuse. “Not yet.” The hint of incest between the pair remains ambiguous. “It’s just a form of Norma’s holding therapy,” said Farmiga. “Every mother in the audience will tell you they grow up so quickly you’ve got to slather it on while you can.” Another member of the Bates family could add another complex relationship to the show soon. “We made reference to Norma’s brother last season,” teased Cuse. “That character might show up this season.”
Here’s the mini-featurette and trailer that Comic-Con attendees saw yesterday during the Veronica Mars panel.
Anthony D’Alessandro contributes to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage.
UPDATED: Lost vet Naveen Andrews is boarding Once Upon A Time In Wonderland as the genie villain Jafar. That was the big news coming out of the ABC’s show’s panel today at Comic-Con. Andrews joined the Wonderland cast members Sophie Lowe (Alice), Michael Socha (Knave of Hearts), Emma Rigby (Red Queen) and Peter Gadiot (Cyrus) onstage at Ballroom 20. Co-creator and exec producer Edward Kitsis said that the addition of Jafar adds to the entire genie-in-the-bottle- mythology they are building with the character and the show, and Alice’s love interest, Cyrus.
Preceding the panel, a 20-minute clip from the pilot was shown to applause. There wasn’t as much foot-stomping like yesterday’s ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but then again this is mostly a female demo in the room. Footage showed Alice being questioned by doctors in a Storybrooke insane asylum, remembering flashbacks to Wonderland with her beau Cyrus. She is then rescued from the asylum by the white rabbit (John Lithgow) and the Knave of Hearts.
The irony wasn’t lost on Joss Whedon as he lobbied for more original content in Hollywood in his anything-goes Comic-Con Q&A Friday evening. The director behind both Marvel’s The Avengers and indie Shakespeare pic Much Ado About Nothing acknowledged his own recent successes with adaptations big and small between answering Whedonverse queries from fans. “I do feel like we are in desperate need of new content,” he said. “Pop culture is eating itself at a rate that is going to be dangerous. Too many narratives are built on the resonance of recognition. That’s going to become really problematic. Even though it’s enormous fun to work on something I read as a child, I think it’s important for us to step back from that and create new universes, new messages, and new icons … so that 10 years from now we can reboot those.”
Whedon said he’d like to do more with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the indie web series he directed, co-wrote, and produced during the WGA strike. He drew loud cheers with the dream project idea of getting the crew of Serenity back together, but he expressed no interest in returning to other projects he was formerly attached to, like his Wonder Woman script for Warner Bros. and DC. “I don’t like to go back to things,” he said, “and I also feel there’s plenty of room for a new iconic female heroine. So let’s look to the future.”
The freshman season of Vikings was a marauding success for History, with the historical drama emerging as the No. 1 new cable series of the year and scoring three Emmy noms yesterday. Now there’s a trailer for Season 2, which debuted at Comic-Con today. “More armies, more Viking ships” — that was Vikings creator Michael Hirst’s biggest promise to the crowd at Comic-Con and that’s exactly what the teaser trailer delivered (watch it after the jump), showing Norse crusader Ragnar Lothbrok’s vast army clashing with their foes on a bloody beach, Troy-like style. Many of the actors present, most of them bearded and long-haired, followed Hirst’s cue, in keeping details about Season 2 close to the vest. Audiences will learn more about Ragnar’s sons, in particular Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), and of course Ragnar’s wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) will ultimately learn of her husband’s extramarital affair.
Related: EMMYS: ‘Vikings’ Justin Pollard
“As Americans, you like to say that family comes first,” Hirst told Room 6a, “The same can be said of the Vikings. Ragnar bred a lot of sons who became famous in their own turn. When he died, they finally declared war on the whole world.” Hinted Winnick: “Her relationship with Bjorn and Ragnar is tested. We learn that our son is older and it’s interesting to see if she is stronger or weaker in that situation.”
Anthony D’Alessandro contributes to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage.
Joss Whedon blindsided the crowd at ABC-Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel announcing, “We wanted to bring a clip, but with the Disney lawyers there was a mix-up. So we’re going to show the entire episode,” to which the crowd lept to their feet, chanting “Whedon, Whedon.” The pilot, a hybrid of X-Files meets Heroes, focused on the super-agent team trying to pin down a black hooded superhero who saves a victim from a fire at the onset. They eventually learn, he is a combustible super soldier, much like James Badge Dale’s Savin henchman in the latest Iron Man 3. The big detail revealed quickly at the top of the show is actually how Clark Gregg’s lead spy guy Coulson survived his death in Avengers (“I stopped breathing for 40 seconds,” he says glibly during the show). Cobie Smulders guest stars and reprises her role as Agent Maria Hill from Avengers. After the episode finished, the panelists reassembled briefly where Gregg told fans, “I didn’t like being dead, but I loved my death. I don’t think anything topped that.” Jed Whedon also revealed to the crowd that Walking Dead composer Bear McCreary was handling the show’s score.
Comic-Con: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Panel Opens With Ode To Its Dead; George R.R. Martin Mulling Aegon Prequel
The panel presentation for HBO‘s Game of Thrones kicked off with a tongue-in-cheek In Memoriam reel set to Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye To Yesterday,” remembering all the characters who were beheaded, stabbed or otherwise dispatched and teasing the series’ spring 2014 return. Cast members Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, John Bradley, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and Richard Madden, and author George R.R. Martin joined exec producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the fan-centric event. Martin acknowledged his penchant for offing his characters, joking that it made for lots of new job opportunities for actors and actresses. Soon afterward, Jason Momoa, aka the dearly departed Khal Drogo, crashed the panel to give Emilia Clarke a kiss shouting, “I’m not dead yet!”
The show is nominated for 16 Emmy Awards, including one for Clarke’s turn as Daenerys Targaryen. She recalled getting the news early Thursday morning. “My alarm went off really early at 6 AM in the hotel even though I never set it,” she said. “I saw I was getting a missed call from HBO telling us about the amazing news, and it took three phone calls for them to tell me no, no, you [were nominated] as well.”